Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quilts in Progress

I was a working girl last week. I spent 3 days at the Jinny Beyer Studio helping out during Quilters Quest, the areas annual shop hop. I cut fabric for online and in shop customers, assembled kits and just tried to make myself useful. The studio is located in historic Great Falls Virginia which is in the outer suburbs of Washington DC. It is one of a collection of shops, restaurants and businesses all surrounding a grassy square. I wish I had thought to ask about the building. It was very warm and cozy – lots of wood and old features. I’m not sure if it is actually an old building or just built to feel that way. My time there was fun and busy. Everyone was so nice. Jinny was there to greet everyone who came in the door. Check out the Quilters Quest Quilts.

In the evenings I took turns stitching these projects- 
This is very puffy because I’m using wool batting. I’m being very free with my stitching. I don’t want to undo uneven or crooked stitches because I have to many hand projects in the queue. This is the first time I’ve hand quilted without a hoop. It's easier on my hands and arms, though I don't have as much control.

I taped the background of the lone star to my dining room floor and carefully laid the 4 segments on top so they butted together. I then basted the segments to the background- 

I’m in the process of appliqueing. These star points aren’t easy for me – my first attempt has been my best one so far- 

I stitched the first segment directly to the background. The next segment was stitched to the background until I came to where it butted up against the first. There, I stitched it to the first segment- 
I don’t want any of the background to show between the star segments. So far, so good. I’m almost done with the third segment. I’m thinking about adding a border of diamonds.

I also stitched my hexie blocks together and I’m almost ready to piece the back. Glad I remembered to cut my binding from the leftover black and white fabric I used for the sashing before using it for the back. Will add some of my 30’s repros to make it big enough.

Yesterday, I started marking a Christmas quilt top I made out of charm packs. I hope I can have it machine quilted and bound by the end of this year. The hexie quilt will also be machine quilted.

I’m looking forward to next week. My daughter arrives for the Thanksgiving holiday this Saturday. I need to get busy cleaning her room. We’ve been using it as a catch all – not a good idea.

As we approach the holidays, I’m renewing my vow to keep it simple. I get better about it every year. What are your thoughts on this? I know some people just love all the hustle and bustle.


  1. Just found your blog while looking for copies of the Pockets and Rollups book...(I am on a mission!) Your rollup turned out so lovely - our quilt history study group is putting kits together for a January workshop at our local Museum.

    I have "floor envy" - seeing you working on your Lone Star in that position...would never happen with my brand new knees. Sigh...

    Lived in McLean, Va for years and know how lovely that whole area was...what a treat for you to work at the JB Studio!

    And oh yes...each holiday season becomes more simplified as we grow older! Have just become a Follower.

  2. Love your projects - and the updates, you've been busy. The days at the quilt shop sound really fun - and you still had energy to stitch - good for you!!
    Holidays - yes, keeping them simple!
    Enjoy your time with your DD.

  3. I love all the projects you are working on. I can't show what I'm working on as they are Christmas gifts and the recipients read my Can't wait to see more from you. Hugs

  4. Lovely projects!!! I love simple holidays - mostly just spending time with family. But I do love to decorate!!! Love lights and natural evergreen (cedar) boughs everywhere. Have a wonderful time with your daughter!!


  5. All your projects look so lovely! And I think your stitching on your lone star looks fab!

    The holidays - we keep them very simple around here now that it's just us old farts. A few lights outside, our miniature tree with paper snowflakes and my Christmas quilts. The only thing I work real hard at is making the cookies!

  6. It must be great to have so many near finishing. What a lot of impressive work.

  7. Holy cow, Maureen! You've been busy! I love the extra poof on the Midnight Stars looks very cozy! And your Lonestar is gorgeous! I can't believe you've already pieced together all those hexies! Wow! That was fast!

    I so wished we had found more time in DC, so I could have gone to Jinny Beyer's place. It sounds so great! Oh time through!

  8. So you did get a call to work at the studio after all. Sounds like a fun, exhausting experience.
    I love each and every one of your projects, but the Humble Quilts Midnights Stars is the one I am going to steal away and put on my bed when it is finished. I'm guessing it wasn't a good idea to tell you that.

  9. You are making good progress on many fronts. I love the look of wool batt for hand quilting...and so lovely to needle through! The points on your lone star look sharp to me.

  10. Looks like you are doing a nice job with the lone star, got to be one of my favourite quilt styles! And you have your hands full too with lots of other projects, very nice Christmas quilt and I just love the 30's hexie quilt too, just gorgeous!!!!

  11. Oh my goodness! It sounds like so much fun to be helping at the studio!!
    And look how much you have been getting accomplished. What an interesting way to finih your lone star quilt. I bet it is going to lay nice and flat and be so perfect!!

    As far as the holidays, this year, keeping it simple.

  12. Your appliqué looks very good Maureen. I like how the blue pops out in the star.
    Spending time at the Jinny Beyer studio sounds like an enjoyable, albeit busy, experience.

  13. I laughed out load that were a "working girl".....
    Your star looks great!

  14. I am glad you enjoyed being a shop girl. You have plenty of energy to be doing so many quilts at the same time, but working around fabric all day must have inspired you. I love them all, but that lone star is a beauty.

  15. your midnight stars quilt is beautiful and every stitch i see is perfection~!!~

    i've never seen a lone star done that way before but it looks pretty darn smart . . .
    everything looks quite matched up to me and what beautiful fabrics.

    my thoughts on a simple holiday have been influenced by my trip last year to Honduras (visiting my daughter who was at the time, in the Peace Corps) at Christmas time . . . most Hondurans are extremely poor (by any standard, but especially amarican ones).
    electric lights and decorating are only for the very wealthy in urban areas where there is actually electricity. they rarely exchange gifts and in the more rural areas even the children would not know what to think about getting a gift. what they do however is quite family oriented. special foods are prepared and visits are made to family and friends. commonly a community party is held in the evening and celebrating and visiting go on into the morning hours. these celebrations often include fireworks which delight everyone although the probably are pretty dangerous.
    my dh and i were unable to pack much in the way of gifts as luggage space (a medium sized backpack) was at a premium. i embellished a journal cover and wrote quotes randomly within it's blank pages as my one gift to take to her. the trip itself was our gift to each other. i wasn't sure how this was going to feel but it turned out that i almost felt guilty for even that bit of 'luxury'. it was certainly not made known to anyone but our family as it simply would have been impolite.
    quite an experience and a first hand eye opener for me which gave me LOTS to think about for a long time.
    i've decided that there really are parts of the holiday that have been "used" for the "good" of the economy. this year i will be in the U.S.
    i will enjoy my American luxuries but i will be able to do that in a much more simplified way than ever before. and i will be just as happy as in any other year. very possibly, even happier . . .

    i hope that i haven't been TOO generous with my thoughts. this was a once in a lifetime experience for us as a family and we all learned and felt entirely new things about the holidays. it boiled down to family and friends and the love that we share with each other as well as a great feeling of gratitude for everything we did have to share.